Rony Abovitz, founder of Magic Leap, is starting on a new path after his departure as CEO of the well-funded augmented reality company last year. Abovitz just unveiled his next project, a startup called Sun and Thunder, which aims to build what he calls “synthetic beings.”

Founded late last year, Abovitz says the company’s first project will feature a character named Jako Vega, also known as ‘Yellow Dove’, which will be the center of a number of short film experiments set to release sometime in 2021.

On the face of it, Sun and Thunder feels patently Abovitzian in its near-science fiction ambitions to create digital life. Much like Magic Leap’s AI-driven virtual companion Mica, which was billed as an “educator, agitator, companion, artist and guide,” Abovitz imbues Yellow Dove with a degree of sentience that’s fairly questionable—at least for now.

Image courtesy Sun and Thunder

The startup says on its website that Yellow Dove is “a member of the Sun and Thunder team, a co-creator, and traveler through a number of interconnected Sun and Thunder storyworlds. He is a musician and the first artist on Sun and Thunder Records.”

Abovitz tells Venture Beat in an exclusive interview that the upcoming short film will act as an introduction to the Yellow Dove character.

“He goes outside and teaches us about the world, and we’re building out the underlying technology that makes these things happen. It’s a small enough container that we are developing. And he ultimately will be writing all of his lyrics and adventures.”

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Continuing, Abovitz says the startup isn’t trying to “take on like the largest tech companies in the world,” à la Magic Leap. “It’s not the best metaphor, but this is like a craft beer. Or something Studio Ghibli would do.”

Abovitz tells Venture Beat that Sun and Thunder is being funded out of pocket for now, although he’s currently in talks with potential investors. Abovitz still sits on Magic Leap’s board of directors, however Sun and Thunder is a separate venture that isn’t tied to a specific platform.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Xron

    Would not trust.

  • xyzs

    Anything made by this scammer should be avoided. He doesn’t deserve any successful business.

  • sfmike

    Yeah like I trust anything the Magic Leap scammer has to say.

  • Wishing you all the best on his new start-up!, Rony Good luck and Godspeed!

    May the force be with you!

    • Liam Mulligan

      Great to see you kickin around Noah, hope things are well mate. This will be interesting to see what they come up with in a tough climate. I was a big ML fan but feel pretty burned on the messaging prior to ML hardware, bit skeptical but hope im proven wrong.

      • Liam, great to see you too. I’m currently chatting with friends. I prepare for the worst, but hope for the best!

  • That is one of the worst-designed logos I have ever seen.

  • I haven’t read anything about “photonic chips” here, I consider it a step forward for Rony

  • Mateusz Pawluczuk

    Mica: ““I won’t be selecting your songs, I’ll be writing them”
    Yellow Dove: “A musician and the first artist on Sun and Thunder Records.”

    Pursuing your dreams is fine but not at an expense of VCs and investors who pumped 2.6bln into Magic Leap AR device and got a synthetic musician instead.

  • guest

    Do these shysters have the power to censor my Haiku, or does Ben not like it:

    Don’t junk-up my brain
    Phoney Balcony Rony
    with one trick ponies